TV Audiences, Here’s Pole Position

Saturday 21 August 2010, 4:32 pm   ////  

Ms. Blue pointed out a great Atari commercial that has been online for a while, but which is particularly appropriate to mention here: A TV ad for Pole Position. (The name of this blog does in fact refer to that game.) A few notes about this amazing TV spot:

  • There’s an amusing jab at corporate executives, people who “stop exciting things from happening.” Even though the makers of the commercial may not have known or cared, this no doubt resonated among programmers at Atari.
  • “Muffy, Buffy, Biff Junior, and I …” Nuff said.
  • The family’s incredible, fun experience begins as they are picked up by the hand of god, which also destroys their car.
  • There’s an amazing, rocking song called Playing Pole Position. Or maybe Playing Poh-oh-oh-ol, oh-oh-ol, ole Position.
  • The ad is for the Atari 5200 version of the game. The original was a 1982 arcade game by Namco, later licensed to Atari; there are ports for the Atari 2600 and many other platforms.
  • Although the billboard in the ad has something on both its front and its back, the Atari 5200 game’s billboards are all blank. The arcade game’s billboards featured one of the first examples of in-game advertising.
  • The ad suggests that four people can play at once, particularly if you’re thinking of today’s racing games (or even Mario Kart), but the Atari 5200 Pole Position, like the arcade game, is for one player only.
  • A few seconds from the end, you can see where they got the idea for the Segway.

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